Right now you’re going to think I’m nuts. Why would I write a blog post about outsourcing the development of your WordPress site when that’s exactly what we do. We are WordPress developers and yes we do want you to work with us.
Unless you don’t.
And so I’m going to help you find another solution to have your website constructed.
Rest assured this blog post is not link bait. I really want to share some thoughts that will help you if you’re planning to try and source overseas developers, outsource, off shore – what ever you’d like to call it, the development of your WordPress site.
I talk to a lot of people, business owners every week. The one story that hear more than any other is this one…
I’ve had some overseas developers working on my WordPress site, it’s all wrong and we need someone to fix it
Let’s see if we can’t give you some help that might stop you from suffering the same fate.
What’s the key to a successful project?
You have to have a process. A plan. And, in short: you have to know what you want. When I engage with a new client they know what they want, a new website, right? Sure, that is what they’re thinking but is it granular enough? No.
What happens in our project process is that we begin by creating wireframes. Detailed drawings of what each of the main sections of the website will include. Both in functionality and in content. We talk about calls to action, lead generation, key messages and all of this goes into the wireframes.
A blueprint for the site.
We demo these wireframes to our client. We talk them over. We challenge them to ensure that they are correct. That they capture everything that the sites needs to be.
When that process is finished… now the clients knows what they want
And more importantly, we also know what they want.
If you’re the project manager and you’re planning our outsourcing the build of your site, you need to do this. The wireframes don’t necessarily need to be computer generated, you could draw them on a piece of paper and scan them. You do need them though. Firstly so you can know in yourself what you require but also to articulate to your developer what it is that you want them to deliver.
So, the number 1 thing you need for a successful project is to know what you want. Don’t be upset that the answer is so simple. Earlier I mentioned a common story that I hear a lot, where projects fail and we’re asked to step in and fix things. I’m regularly surprised that when I ask for details on the requirements there is all but nothing to show.
You’re the project manager
Here’s another tip, if I were to write the number 2 reason why projects fail it would be centred around this: Project Management.
You need to kick off the project by walking through the wireframes with your developer. Discuss each point specifically. Don’t assume anything. Don’t assume that they will understand your points or your diagrams. Go over each point.
Set expectations and milestones
Setup a clear goal that the developer agrees to. For example, let’s meet again on Skype in 3 days to discuss any questions and let’s work toward getting XYZ deliverable by the end of the week. Be it graphic designs or a working prototype in WordPress or whatever.
What happens all too often is that a brief is given and then it’s left up to the developer to initiate communication. Don’t work like this. You need to drive the project. You need to set targets.
Your contractors may be great at writing code or brilliant at graphic design, just don’t assume that they are good project managers. They will have other projects, competing dead lines, you’re the one that has to keep the project on track.
Stay away from being this person:
“I gave them the brief, then I heard nothing from them for 3 weeks – only to find out that they have totally misunderstood what I wanted”
Our team is full of great programmer and designers, what we have also become over the past 8 years of doing this work is great project managers. It’s a skill to be able to keep a job on track, anticipating problems along the way.
Do you think you can do all of this?
A common reason that projects off shored fail is because the business owner does not have the time to manage the process and does not take the time to really know what they want. Nothing to do with how smart they are. The simple fact that they are time poor means that the project does not get the attention it deserves. Contractors have to make decisions by themselves (ie guess what you want). Development work is not tested.
The project fails to deliver.
You could engage with an agency that has the time, the skills, the experience and the people resources to ensure that your project does deliver. In case you’re interested, here is our contact page :)